Francine Brevetti, Legend Crafter
This partially depends on how many interviews you want to do and how complex your story is. The more complex it is, the more artistry is required in writing it and the more research needed to achieve historical accuracy. The more frequently we meet, the more quickly I can gather and work on your material.
Each project is uniquely tailored to the client. Negotiations can only begin once you understand the value of the service and we understand what you hope to achieve.
Leaving a legacy for your family is one of the primary reasons people embark on such project. Often, the adult children themselves ask their parents to record their life stories. After you pass away, your memories and your knowledge of your family’s history and culture will be lost to the next generations in your family if you do not record them.
Furthermore, people find the experience of documenting their life’s experiences and the insights and philosophies that are distilled from them to be validating. For once, they are the star of their own story.
Even parents who are estranged from their children have found it revitalizing and inspiring to leave this legacy for them. They have the experience of having their story told their way.
I have seen clients change to the process of telling their stories to me. They somehow come to value their past and themselves in the way they had not thought possible.
Both of these questions say in effect: “I’m not worth the trouble of recording my life story.”
Who else should care if not you? Everyone’s life story is a book and a window onto the era that you live. Your view of life, your perceptions and challenges are every bit as valuable as the next man’s or woman’s. It’s from documents such as these that historians understand how people lived in a certain day.
If you have no living person to entrust this document with, you can always leave it to an oral history collection in a library. I will help the search out the appropriate recipient for you and with you.
After your manuscript has been edited professionally and met your final approval, you will usually want to share it with friends and family. I will oversee the reproduction of your manuscript, bringing you to your attention to the many options you have for its design and the number of copies that you want to distribute.
However, when we are talking about publication on the open market, this is a whole different task. It is almost impossible to get a well-known publishing house to consider the memoirs of someone who is not well known to the
public. Nonetheless, our technology these days gives us many options for self-publishing.
Still getting such a book distributed in bookstores will be on our shoulders — the client’s and mine — rather than the task of a publishing house. This step has to be carefully thought through but I will be more than happy to embark on such a project with you.
Some people worry about leaving a document behind that will hurt or offend others. This does not need to happen.
During the process of working together, we will develop trust in each other. Without my prodding you, there may come a time when you disclose something that you do not want to be recorded or included in the final manuscript. I will honor that.